Making Space for Progress with Mindful Decluttering
How You Can Use Decluttering with Intention To Create Room for Growth
In 2019, Netflix released a show titled “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” In this show, organization consultant Marie Kondo visited multiple homes of real people with personal and financial struggles that were seeking to clean up and create space. This show became very popular, and you might recognize it by Marie Kondo’s philosophy. When consulting with someone as they cleaned and decluttered, Marie would encourage clients to ask themselves, “Does this spark joy?”
Marie Kondo has written many books and released a second show called “Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo.” However, the question of “does this spark joy” when decluttering is so much more than asking yourself “is this an item I like enough to keep?” The KonMari Method™gained so much popularity because it’s a holistic question that requires reflection, introspection and intention.
So why is “Spring Cleaning” a huge movement each year only as winter shifts into spring? How can we continuously be creating and adapting our space to reflect where we are on the journey to our dreams?
The stagnancy of winter leaves us with an abundance of eager (and almost anxious) energy that so many of us harness into deep-cleaning our entire homes. Yet why should spring be the only time we refresh our mindset and reorganize our space? It’s easy to align our space with our dreams at the beginning of the year when we have a clear vision of how we want our year to go, but throughout the following seasons—and especially toward the end of the year—that energy dissipates and we get too overwhelmed with routine and responsibility to maintain our “perfect”, freshly spring-cleaned house.
Why Does Decluttering Matter?
There is a lot of momentum during the beginning of the year to stay committed to spring cleaning, but when that slows down, decluttering creates a fresh beginning to work from and invites new things and opportunities into life.
Being in an oppressive or messy space can take a toll on your mental health. Sometimes it can contribute to depression and anxiety, but it can also be more subtle like getting frustrated or overwhelmed more easily. Decluttering is important not just to have a clean house, but for your emotional wellbeing as well.
Have you ever tried decluttering or cleaning with intention? More than just, “I’m going to put this here and organize my tupperware cabinet”, but true intention about what you’re creating space for—both physically and mentally.
I also like to use decluttering when I notice areas of my life have become sluggish or bogged down. There was week earlier in the summer where no journals were purchased. This was unusual, as that was the first time since I started selling the journal that there were no sales. At first I became concerned, anxious and worried about this. Then I decided I needed to clear space for more growth.
I did a massive purge of things in my home that weekend. I moved boxes of journals that hadn't yet sold into my car to be donated to women who could really benefit from using them. I cleaned and got organized and by the end of the day I literally felt like a weight had been lifted and I was breathing easier. And you know what? The very next day was a top sales day!
I had created space with the intention of clearing out excess and making energetic space for growth. I believed that the results of doing this would pave the way for new momentum in my business and the results very quickly followed. So cool!
Mindful decluttering uses the mind-body connection and as you alter your physical space and move with intention, your mind is getting decluttered as well. To quote Friday Night Lights, “Open hearts, clear minds, can’t lose.” This is the result of decluttering with intention: opening your home to new possibilities and creating room internally and externally for growth and progress.
Creating a Mindset for Mindful Decluttering
Because mindful decluttering is about identifying a purpose to guide your process and the intent you create for your end result, it’s important to cultivate the right mindset.
5 Journal Prompts to Enter a Decluttering Headspace
1. What in my life is unnecessarily excessive?
2. What areas of my life and home are preventing me from living my best life?
3. What do I struggle to let go of? How can I learn to let go of something with peace and closure instead of holding onto it when I don’t need it?
4. What do I want to create space for?
5. How can I achieve my most immediate dreams with this space in my heart and home?
Mindful Decluttering Steps
So, what do you do once you have determined a direction and claimed intentions for your decluttering?
Choose one space at a time. This helps you have a realistic goal and prevents you from getting overwhelmed. After you have completed one space, decide on the next at a time when you can actually get to it, rather than having the responsibility weighing on you indefinitely.
Divide the space into sections or categories. Do you want to organize your space by physical objects, how items are used, convenient access, etc.
Be comfortable getting rid of things that don’t serve you. More than just, “does this spark joy,” make sure that you’re not holding onto something just because you want to or struggle to get rid of it. Decluttering can be a difficult physical and emotional process! Don’t discard something or keep it just because it requires some thought or processing.
Keep your intention in mind during the process. This will help infuse your actions with intention, while also making it easier to declutter because you have your end goal envisioned in your mind. The bigger picture makes the work worthwhile.
How to Maintain a Decluttered Space
Now that the hard part is done, take time to recognize the lifestyle shifts that are necessary to maintain your hard work! Identify the behaviors that led to the clutter, excess purchasing, or overwhelmed mind. How can you make small shifts or change your habits and routine to support your new space and intentions?
What is a realistic way for you to actually implement these changes? Perhaps it might help you more to write down instructions or even motivational reminders for yourself throughout your house, or next to spaces where clutter seems to accumulate. If you are creating or breaking a habit in alignment with your intentions, remember to find ways to support this behavior shift—you can find ideas and information to help make your habits stick here.
Find tools or create processes that support your habits and lifestyle shifts as you create your ideal life. This is why I included a habit tracker, dream steps and weekly intention and affirmation prompts in the JMB Living Journal to serve as daily reminders of the steps you need to take on the journey to creating your dreams.